Why Don’t People Run Bitcoin Nodes Anymore?

Hosting a bitcoin node used to be a lot more popular. What happened?


The number of bitcoin nodes supporting the bitcoin network is getting smaller.

If you look at the number of reachable nodes around this time last year, the numbers looked a lot better.

Ten thousand nodes is a total the Bitcoin Foundation’s Bitnodes.io project believes is a good number to properly support the network.

However, the number of nodes dipped below 10,000 in spring of 2014.

Today, the bitcoin network is only running around 6,000 total reachable nodes right now.

In the past 90 days, the number has continued to decrease.

What is the reason for this decrease in reachable nodes?

There’s less incentive than ever before to run a bitcoin node…

We asked members of the ZapChain community why they run bitcoin nodes, and this is what they said...

Map of reachable nodes around the world.

“I run several because I want to both support the network and analyze some of network traffic.”

Jameson Lopp, engineer BitGo

“We run about 10, highly connected nodes (~100 connections each). We do this for our work on double spend detection.”

Moe Adham, CEO BitAccess

“Yes, because I have a server machine that is on all the time anyway.”

Bohang Huang, CDO at Uro Foundation

“I intend to be running one in the near future.”

Aaron Williams, payments industry veteran

What would motivate you to run a bitcoin node? If there was an easy way to support bitcoin by helping host a node, would you do it?

Tell us on ZapChain what would motivate you to support bitcoin nodes — and get tipped for your feedback!